Summer finally arrived into Ireland. It’s gorgeous. People already complain it’s too hot. You can wear shorts in the morning and you are not freezing. The weather forecast displays a high temperature warning. It’s so funny if you think that in some places in the world high is much more than 27°C. But I’m loving it, it’s beautiful, I feel like somebody answered to my prayers. We try to catch as much sun as possible, because we are almost sure it won’t last long. We eat ice cream, we drink cocktails (I’ve discovered Pimm’s), we go for lunch in park. It’s so nice to look at people outdoors sitting on the grass, that by the way changed colour from green to yellow. Dear summer please stay as long as possible.
The strawberry season is probably coming to the end, although there are still a few green strawberries on my balcony, so I made a summer tart. The crust is delicious and I love the pastry cream, it’s my favourite from all the creams, the toasted almond flakes work beautifully with juicy strawberries.
Strawberry tarts with almond pastry cream
- 150 g plain flour
- 50 g almonds, ground
- 30 g icing sugar
- pinch of salt
- 100 g butter, cold, diced
- 1 egg
- 6 egg yolks
- 120 g caster sugar
- 20 g plain flour
- 20 g potato starch or corn starch
- 450 ml milk
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 100 g butter, cubed, room temperature
- 500 g strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1/2 cup almond flakes, toasted
Sift the flour, almonds, icing sugar and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Add the butter.
With your hands, rub together the flour mixture with the butter cubes until the mixture forms small breadcrumbs. Alternatively, you can use a food processor for 10-12 second. Add the egg and knead it quickly. Don't overwork the dough.
Wrap it into cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (you can even prepare it 2-3 days before, or you can freeze it and store it for few months).
Grease a tart tin with a melted butter. Dust it with flour. Set aside.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface until it covers the tart base and its sides (it should have around 2-3 mm). Transfer it gently into the pan. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan. Prick the dough with a fork. Refrigerate for another 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan. Line the crust with parchment and fill with baking beans, and bake blind in the oven for 12-15 minutes until the edges are biscuit coloured.
Remove the beans and bake it for another 10-15 minutes until golden. Remove the pastry from the oven and let it cool down.
For the filling
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until white and fluffy. Add 50 ml of milk, plain flour, starch, almond extract and mix it.
Boil the remaining milk and slowly pour over the egg yolk mixture. Keep stirring until the mixture starts thicken. When the mixture is quite thick add the butter and stir until it melts and dissolves.
Pour the cream over the crust case and refrigerate.
Before serving decorate it with strawberries and almond flakes.